|Syracuse wide receiver Alex Lemon led the Orange over Louisville Saturday. (US Presswire)|
Here's CBSSports.com's Rapid Reports Big East power ranking:
1. Rutgers (8-1, 4-0 Big East): The Scarlet Knights didn't exactly dominate a 2-8 Army team Saturday, but Rutgers came away with the victory. The scheduling gods, however, didn't do first-year coach Kyle Flood and his team any favors. Rutgers closes at Cincinnati, at Pittsburgh, and against Louisville -- all in a 12-day span. The game with Louisville -- a Thursday nighter in Piscataway -- could be for a BCS bowl berth. Last week's power ranking: 2. Next up: at Cincinnati, Saturday, noon ET (Big East Network).
2. Louisville (9-1, 4-1 Big East): The Cardinals saw their chance at an undefeated season go up in smoke Saturday, when Syracuse routed them 45-26. Louisville was exposed -- especially defensively -- by a potent offense, and QB Teddy Bridgewater failed to match the Orange's firepower -- for the first time this season. The Cards now have a week to think about what they've done before they dominate Connecticut as a tuneup for the aforementioned showdown with Rutgers. Last week's power ranking: 1. Next up: vs. Connecticut, Saturday, Nov. 24.
3. Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1 Big East): The quarterback controversy seems to be solved, as Brendon Kay appears poised to take the Bearcats the rest of the way. The Bearcats were able to give Kay a quick tuneup last week against Temple, and he made good on it, throwing for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Cincinnati could still sneak into a BCS game with a win Saturday over Rutgers and then a Scarlet Knights victory over Louisville. Last week's power ranking: 3. Next up: vs. Rutgers, Saturday, noon ET (Big East Network).
4. Syracuse (5-5, 4-2 Big East): The Orange got a big win over Louisville on Saturday, and they could make it two impressive victories in a row this week when they travel to Missouri. Seniors Ryan Nassib and Alec Lemon were on fire against the Cardinals, showcasing their skills and perhaps climbing draft boards. Last week's power ranking: 4. Next up: at Missouri, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU).
5. Pittsburgh (4-6, 1-4 Big East): Despite a bad, bad loss to UConn last weekend, the Panthers hold on to the fifth spot. They are, essentially, the best of the bad teams in the Big East, but that distinction seems to change on a weekly basis. They'll try to regain their balance in a couple of weeks against Rutgers. Last week's power ranking: 5. Next up: vs. Rutgers, Saturday, Nov. 24.
6. Connecticut (4-6, 1-4 Big East): The Huskies make a significant leap after their upset victory over Pitt. Running back Lyle McCombs finally showed some signs of life, rushing 29 times for 120 yards. UConn is a totally different team when McCombs is effective, which has been rare this season. Last week's power ranking: 8. Next up: at Louisville, Saturday, Nov. 24.
7. Temple (3-6, 2-4 Big East): The Owls were blasted over the weekend by Cincinnati, continuing their nose-dive to the depths of the conference. Temple's best chance to end the skid comes this week, when it travels to face Army. A loss there, and Steve Addazio's team may end the season on a six-game losing streak after its finale against Syracuse. Last week's power ranking: 7. Next up: at Army, Saturday, noon ET (CBS Sports Network).
8. South Florida (3-6, 1-4 Big East): It has been an absolute nightmare season for Skip Holtz and the Bulls, who will now have to finish without senior quarterback B.J. Daniels. It seems amazing to think that most people thought USF would be near the top of this conference when the season began. Last week's power ranking: 7. Next up: at Miami, Saturday, 3 p.m. ET (Sun Sports/Fox Sports Florida).
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski@CBSBigEast.